All anyone can talk about right now is the coronavirus (COVID-9) pandemic that's sweeping the globe. While there's currently no cure for COVID-19, there are several things you can do to help prevent the spread, aside from social distancing. First and foremost: wash your hands thoroughly and often. It's also important to clean everything, especially high-touch surfaces, with an effective disinfectant.
You've probably also heard that you shouldn't touch your face, which is both wise and incredibly difficult to do. POPSUGAR spoke with Caesar Djavaherian, MD, an emergency room doctor and cofounder of Carbon Health, about why it's so important to break the habit and what else you can do to combat coronavirus.
Why You Shouldn't Touch Your Face During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Quite simply, you carry a lot of germs on your hands, and when you touch your face, you're transporting those germs to the areas where they can easily enter your body and make you sick. "Viruses enter your body through your mouth, eyes, and nose — any mucosal surface," Dr. Djavaherian told POPSUGAR. He continued, "We all have bad habits of resting our faces on our hands or scratching our noses after we touch other surfaces like our phones and computers or after opening doors." This is why now is the time to be hyperaware of what you're doing with your hands.
How Can You Keep From Touching Your Face?
It's much easier said than done. Most people probably don't even realize how often they touch their faces, which is why Dr. Djavaherian stressed the importance of keeping your hands clean. If you're frequently washing your hands — for at least 20 seconds — while you're at home, you're less likely to expose your face to the virus. Otherwise, take note of the moments when you tend to touch your face, and try to keep your hands busy. If you're preoccupied doing other things around the house (or just holding a remote instead of leaving your hands idle, for example), you'll be less likely to do it.
What Other Preventative Measures Should We Take During the Pandemic?
If you can, stay home. If you can help others during this time, whether it's by donating or checking on an elderly neighbor, that's great, but the most important measure you can take is staying home to limit your own exposure and to prevent spreading germs to other people. "This is a time for us all to be worried about harming others when we are sick," Dr. Djavaherian told POPSUGAR.
POPSUGAR aims to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about the coronavirus, but details and recommendations about this pandemic may have changed since publication. For the latest information on COVID-19, please check out resources from the WHO, CDC, and local public health departments.